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If at First (Part 2) … from Tales of Gelfzyn

    • 49 posts
    January 5, 2019 11:06 PM PST

    Since the group was taking a well deserved rest after spending the morning fighting the undead, I took some time to inspect the core of the ruins that had been, and maybe still was, guarded. The ground was more sand than dirt and lighter in color. In the mid-day light, I could see that the area formed a near perfect circle along the inner edge of the ruins and had the obelisk, that Mylah had described, sitting right in the middle of it with that pile of armor at its base.

    "So why would there be a pile of armor there?", I wondered out loud.

    "Could it be a guardian?" Sor'gal questioned as he joined me. "With the skeletons we've encountered and their unusual actions, it would seem something or someone has put a bit of effort into protecting this place." The others were now gathering to either side to look over the area.

    "Maybe it was a warrior that touched the stone and was hit by a magical power that turned him into dust." Wosel offered. We all turned to him with blank looks on our faces. "Just sayin", he shrugged.

    "That's as possible as any other explanation Wosel." I replied.

    "Well, I didn't wade through a bunch of undead to spend time pondering a bunch of old armor." said Mylah. "If its not dead now, it will be shortly." declaring as she started forward.

    "Wait Mylah." we should at least fan out and approach as a group, just in case it's more than we expect. Mylah stopped and with a shrug, waited for the party to form a loose battle line.

    As we started to enter the core, the sun seemed to reflect off a crystal at the top of the obelisk and the rays began to infuse the armor at the base. Within moments, the armor assembled into a knight in full plate with attendant sword and shield. A ghostly image could be seen within the armor.

    "Halt and approach no further." the armor commanded in language I barely recognized as the common tongue of the humans.

    "Who are you?" I said coming to a halt and putting a hand on Mylah's shoulder to stop her from continuing.

    "I .. I am Sir .. Sir …".

    "You are Sir Tailkeren" Sor'gal announced as he came up beside me. "My studies had suggested that you and this obelisk were only a myth. I see that I have misinterpreted my findings."

    "Yes, Tailkeren." the guardian murmured, "That name seems familiar."

    "What are you doing here?" I ventured, while indicating to everyone to lower their weapons.

    "I was placed here to guard this obelisk, to protect it." said the guardian as he recovered his command bearing. "It is a warning to future generations of the 'Alignment'." he intoned.

    "So you've been guarding this place? With the help of the undead?" said an indignant Mylah.

    The Guardian seemed to straighten up a bit and replied "Nil'hylyth placed his minions about to prevent others from gaining its knowledge. I could not leave the circle to battle them, but you have defeated them. For that I am grateful." At this Mylah shrunk back a bit to stand by my side.

    "Sor'gal, you seem to have some knowledge of this place. Can you shed some light on this?" I asked.

    Sor'gal stepped forward a little and asked "Is it true, Sir Tailkeren, that you were at the final battle where Rok'Nhilthamos destroyed Ittero, the Ravaging Lord?"

    The guardian paused for a moment, lowering his sword and shield from there ready positions. "Yes, I remember a great battle in the sky. Two dragons, one more massive than any anyone had ever seen." Looking up he continued. "He crushed the body of the Ravaging Lord in his mouth and then flipped it up an incinerated it." He then paused again and looked back at us. "But there was something else."

    "Did something fall from the sky?" Sor'gal ventured.

    "Yes, yes. That was it. I'm starting to remember now." he said in an uplifting tone. "The finger! A finger was severed from Ittero's claw when Rok'Nhilthamos first crushed him in his jaws. And it fell to the ground, but no one noticed it then, except for a wizard named Churlon.

    Sor'gal spoke then " I think that I can fill in a number of details now. If you will permit us to inspect the obelisk Sir Tailkeren?" bowing to the Guardian.

    "Yes, yes of course. Those such as yourself are for whom I've been tasked with this duty." then with a questioning look he added "But, I do not recognize the race of the children with you elf. Who are they?"

    At this Mylah began to bristle and before she could burst, I said "We are of the Kiri, now known as Halflings. We came to Terminus a few centuries after the Humans. We are now one of twelve races that have been placed here."

    "Ah" the Guardian replied.

    We all then approached the Obelisk and wondered at the strange ruins and marking on it. After awhile Sor'gal stated "Well, this clears up a number of branch points and off shoot conjectures."

    "Ah, could you say that in a common language that others understand?" Darsyth asked.

    "Certainly, certainly." Sor'gal responded as he started to walk around the Obelisk. "These symbols are runes showing several large dots in a field of small dots. They are the lights in the night sky. The large dots are those that wander in the darkness over time. See how they form a line that points to a thick line with three parts. The line they form is called the ‘Alignment’. It is believed to only happens once every few millennium. That thick line is the Staff of Ittero (the Ravaging Lord) made by Churlon. The thick line is above a circle with a crack in it. This is where many arguments start. Some say that it represents the world, others say it is a barrier. My research favors the later."

    "What ladder?" asked Darsyth.

    "Later Dar." I offered, "Please continue Sor'gal".

    "Not too much to tell really." Sor'gal continued. "The staff is made up of the three parts of the Ravaging Lord's finger that was severed when Rok'Nhilthamos grabbed him in his mouth. The finger fell to the ground where the wizard Churlon found it and fashioned a staff of immense power. The staff was deemed too powerful, and was broken up and the three parts hidden. One given to each of the major races: Elves, Dwarves, and Humans."

    "So your grand mission is a treasure hunt?" Jin'tyn commented as she uncrossed her legs to stand up.

    "So it would seem." I said "But who is this Nil'hylyth and why does he want the staff, other than it being a powerful magic item?"

    After a moment of silence, Sor'gal finally spoke up. "Ah, well, I may be able to offer some insight to that, but it's not what you would call 'good tidings'.".

    "Knowing is better than not, so please go on." I said.

    Sor'gal shrugged. "It's the main reason I am here in the Wildlands and with the Kiri. My research into your people and their lore uncovered disturbing connections with the history of Terminus. Based on my conjecture that the staff was meant to break a barrier, I found that there are indications that Ittero had had contact with The Silent Wraith before the Kiri arrived on Terminus."

    After a few gasps from the group, he continued. "Apparently, The Ravaging Lord had made a pact with The Silent Wraith to gain the support of the undead. He was suppose to annul the 'The Dragon Accord' and allow the Wraith to enter this world and finish his 'claim' on the Kiri when they arrived. Churlon had tried to use the staff to that end and break the barrier between worlds to allow the Wraith to cross over, but there was no 'Alignment' to power the staff, Churlon's plan was uncovered, and the staff then broken the dispersed."

    Sor'gal sighed and continued, "To wrap it up, Obelisks like this one were erected near each of the six Dragon Pillars and a Guardian, such as Sir Tailkeren, volunteered to guard each until the time of the 'Alignment' so that future generations would know of the impending danger. For if the Silent Wraith were to succeed, not just the Kiri, but all races would be in danger."

    "Wow, not 'good tidings' is an understatement for sure." Darsyth grumbled.

    "I'm sorry, but it also seems that Nil'hylyth is somehow acting as The Silent Wraith’s link here on Terminus and seeks to succeed where Churlon failed. He seems to have some control over the Undead."

    "That's a lot to think about Sor'gal. But now I know why Gran and the other elders all thought this whispering thing was so important. At least we know a little about what I'm up against."

    "Well, my Ranger. Looks like you've quite an adventure ahead of you. Don't even think that you'll do this without me." Mylah announced as she turned me to face her.

    "You stole my heart with the first smile you gave me." I said with a sigh.

    "Good, because I only steal things that I think are valuable and don't expect to get it back anytime soon." as she locked me up in one of those unforgettable embrasses of hers.

    "If you two are done, we'd all like to say that we're with you on this as well." Darsyth offered and everyone was agreeing." Always wanted to take on a powerful necromancer." he added.

    I release Mylah and said, "Ok then, It seems we have an adventure to attend to." and turned to look at Sir Tailkeren. "Sir Tailkeren, is there anything we can do for you here?" but all that remained was a pile of rusted armor gradually turning into red dust.

    Next 'the Plan'

     

    • 4174 posts
    January 6, 2019 9:52 AM PST

    You're back! Good read :)

    • 615 posts
    January 6, 2019 2:31 PM PST

    Thanks Gelfzin...enjoyable as always.  Bravo!

    • 272 posts
    January 8, 2019 2:30 PM PST
    Well done gelfzyn.
    A bit of advice for the team tho...
    "Never go up against a Necromancer when death is on the line!"